Jim Justice triumphs in the West Virginia Republican primary after receiving Trump's endorsement

The Mountain State's incumbent governor defeated conservative Alex Mooney with more than 60% of the vote. He will face Democrat Glenn Elliott in November.

Jim Justice won the Republican Senate primary in West Virginia. The current Republican governor defeated his conservative opponent, Alex Mooney, thus en route to succeeding Joe Manchin in the Upper House. He will now face Democrat Glenn Elliott in an election that could define who wins the Senate majority starting in 2025.

Justice received the endorsement of Republican leadership and Donald Trump, who called him "a friend" and a "future great senator." On the other hand, Mooney, a current congressman, had gained the support of Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Rand Paul and Jim Justice, among others.

"Thank you, West Virginia, for placing your support and trust in me. I am truly humbled and will work every day to win in November so we can flip the Senate and deliver on our America-First agenda!" Justice wrote on his X account, formerly Twitter, once the results were known.

According to the first results, Justice will win with more than 60% of the votes, against almost 30% for his rival, who had tried to run him from the right.

According to polls, the Republican would easily win in November, when he faces Glenn Elliott, the Democratic mayor of Wheeling.

Steve Daines, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), was among the first to celebrate Justice's victory. The senator from Montana celebrated the fact that the still-governor has agreed to run in these elections.

"When the 2024 cycle began, the Senate race in West Virginia looked like it was going to be a toss-up. That all changed with the recruitment of Governor Jim Justice. Governor Justice is one of the most popular governors in the country, and his work to cut taxes and create opportunity for hardworking West Virginians makes him exactly the right person to represent the state in the U.S. Senate. Congratulations to Big Jim and his team on a big win tonight. We look forward to welcoming him to the United States Senate next year," he commented.

Who is Jim Justice?

The governor began his political career as a moderate Democrat, which led him to win his first election in 2016, beating Republican Bill Cole by 7%. However, months after taking office, he convened a joint event with then-President Donald Trump, where he announced his party switch to the GOP. On that occasion, he asserted that the Democrats had moved away from their ideals.

Nicknamed Big Jim, he has an English bulldog named 'Babydog,' who usually accompanies him in interviews and public appearances.

According to a recent ABC poll, Justice is among the 15 most popular governors in the country, with a 51% positive rating and 28% negative.

The NRSC strategy for 2024

Daines is in charge of getting more Republicans into the Upper House. Unlike his predecessor, he opted for a more aggressive strategy in the primary process, directly supporting the candidates with the best financing capacity and the best chances of winning at the polls.

With that logic, he has already given his approval to Sam Brown in Nevada, Dave McCormick in Pennsylvania, Tim Sheehy in Montana and Justice in West Virginia.

Justice's recruitment aligns with Steve Daines' plan to have Senate candidates who are self-sufficient and capable of "winning a general election." Justice is, in fact, the wealthiest person in West Virginia due to his empire of 94 companies, including The Greenbrier, a luxury hotel located in White Sulfur Springs.